Tata Cha – a warm tea cafe in Bangalore serves a range of teas and other beverages paired with food from around India.
I fill the saucepan with a cup of water and set it to boil. Meanwhile, a piece of fresh ginger is crushed in a mortar pestle kept handy for this very purpose. The aroma of crushed ginger fills the silent morning air. The ginger in the boiling water releases it spicy, peppery flavours. A spoonful of tea stains the hot water reddish brown. A tea cup is waiting. The tea liquor is strained into the cup and tinted with a splash of milk. My morning cup of joy is ready.
I either have my journal by the side, plotting out the things to be done for the day, or the newspapers if I am in the mood to open them. Most days, the newspapers go unopened into the recycle pile.
Some days, I sit in the garden, wrapped up in a light shawl (Bangalore mornings are like that), listening to the raucous birds and relishing every sip of my first tea of the day.
While for most part of the day, I’m a type A personality trying my best to slow down, this is one thing I simply cant hurry over and thankfully so.
Morning rituals set the tone for the rest of the day. My morning tea is a sacred ritual for me.
Now that you know how much I love my tea, you’ll understand why I was so delighted when I first heard of the plans for Tata Cha – a cafe with a firm focus on tea and foods that go with tea.
The idea behind Tata Cha was to marry the happy vibe of a tapri with a modern cafe concept. Located on 12th Main Indira Nagar, this tea cafe has a warm and cheery atmosphere. The homestyle upholstered sofas in bright fabrics, cozy sitting nooks, standing tables and the traditional swings in the outside area provide just the right setting for conversations. A collection of tea-centric props like painted milk cans, large sized glass jars and more vintage props is sure to make the Instragrammers happy.
You’ll find a wide range of hot and cold teas on the menu, just as you would expect to find in a tea cafe. There are also a few tea-based drinks (Cucumber Green Tea) and other beverages (Masala Shikanji, Chilli Guava Slush etc.) If you are a dunker, then you’ll enjoy picking from a range of kharis, rusks and sticks. The Ragi khari is my favourite in this section.
Recipe: Ginger Tulsi Shikanji
The foods on the menu (snacks and mini meals) are curated from all around the country, keeping in mind what people love to have with their tea. Some of these come with an interesting twist, for example the Pinwheel Samosa. Cream Rolls and Elaichi Cakes supply a hearty serving of nostalgia that always pairs well with tea.
Regional specialties like Dal Pakwan and Mutter Kulcha that don’t often find themselves on restaurant menus find a place in Tata Cha’s menu. The Dal Pakwan tasted as good as what I’ve eaten at my Sindhi friends’ homes. The humble khichri gets an upgrade in the Paneer Makhni Khichri, which is a good thing to order if you are there around lunch time.
Now, coming to the section of the menu that is of most interest to me…
The Healthy Bites
I quite dread outdoor meetings as it means an overdose of refined foods, oil and sugar. There is always green tea or iced americano, which is what I end up ordering. It is indeed good news for the health conscious people that there’s more than just green tea to choose from at Tata Cha. Oil free Banana Kababs, Soya Kababs and a Dabeli made with whole wheat pav are the current options in the healthy food menu. Served with a green chutney, each one of them pairs perfectly with a traditional tea or one of the Ayurvedic teas.
There’s also Tangy Tamarind, a no-sugar drink sweetened with stevia and a low-sugar peach iced tea.
Most beverages are available in standard and large serving sizes, with prices ranging from Rs.50-140. Snacks are priced in the range of Rs.50-90 and the hearty meals range from Rs.120-180. Tea and snacks for two would cost approximately Rs.250.
Tata Cha tea cafe puts tea on the pedestal it deserves while providing a happy space for friends and family to bond over what is India’s favourite beverage.
[ I was there by invite for the launch of Tata Cha. This post is an advertorial]